Last evening while I was reading a book on Pranic Psychotherapy I overheard the following conversation between my bunnies.
Anaya : Brother, please help me with these spellings, I will clean your desk in return I promise.
Sparsh: Ok, but remember to keep your promise.
He helps Anaya with her home assignment and leaves the room. On his return he finds his desk all messed up and dirty. He approaches his sister and demands explanation. To which she carelessly says “So what, mom also breaks her promise at times, and so can I” and runs out of the room.
All this while I was quiet and letting them handle their differences but Anaya’s last statement stunned me. It was reality check time for me. How often I made promises to them? Every day! Yes every single day. How?
- No meals, no desserts. (Well, there is no ice cream in the fridge).
- Finish your homework and then you can watch television (when I very well knew it would be bed time by then, hence no TV).
You may say these are not promises which were meant to be kept at all; they were like bribes which I gave them so that they finished their task in hand. I call them deemed promises. It confuses the child. They fail to identify between good and bad promises. And what does the child pick up? Promises are false.
Instead of having this negative approach I should have told them
- Once you finish your meal, we will check if there is ice cream in the fridge and savour it. (This does not promise that there is ice cream in the fridge).
- Finish your assignments in another 10 mins and you can have 10 minutes of screen time before hitting the bed. (This would encourage them to work faster with concentration).
“Children follow not what we say but what we do and how we do.”
When we don’t keep our promise the children loose trust in us, we disappoint them and they feel unimportant. Moreover it makes us answerable to them, we tend to give excuses and fool their already confused minds. And what do they pick up? It’s OK to break promises.
If you make a promise to any child intentional or deemed, make sure you fulfill it or justify its rejection. Under no circumstances should you leave a promise unsettled. Settle it ASAP and foster happiness.
We can help our children become promise keepers . How ? simple , play it like a game. give them rewards for keeping their promises. Writing a promise card fosters responsibility towards the promise made. Encourage them to collect their promise cards back (as shown below)and help them become a better person.
Your children will see what you’re all about by what you live rather than what you say —- Wayne Dyer
I will try my best , will you?
Happiness and sunshine 🙂